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Tai Au FLW Western Division Havasu Champion
Category : BASS TOURNAMENT NEWS
General Tire pro Tai Au of Glendale, Arizona, brought five bass to the scale Saturday totaling 16 pounds, 15 ounces to win the three-day Toyota Series at Lake Havasu event in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. Au won the event by a 1-pound, 12-ounce margin after bringing a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 61-3 to the scale. For his win, Au earned a payout of $26,589 in the opening tournament of the 2020 Toyota Series Western Division season.
“I’ve dreamt about this moment for a long time,” Au said on stage. “I’ve been close so many times. This is my 15th top-10, and for a while there I thought it just was never going to happen; it wasn’t in the cards for me. I woke up this morning at midnight, just getting teary-eyed thinking about it. I’ve got a lot of friends supporting me, and I want to thank them for that.”
Au opened the tournament Thursday with the biggest limit of the week. Four of the five keepers he weighed in he caught while sight-fishing. Day one was by far the best day of the event. Sunny skies in the morning made bed-fishing easy. Plus, there were tons of unpressured bass on beds to be caught. That changed when afternoon and evening rains on Thursday dirtied parts of the lake and were followed up with post-frontal weather on Friday, which really challenged many anglers. Au threw everything he had at them and had to do much of the same today.
“As far as numbers-wise, I did all I could today,” Au said. “I went out there and ran the same stuff and caught a whole lot more today than I did the first and second day.
“I just went junk-fishing. I checked a few of my beds. They weren’t there. I did catch one on a bed. That was a 2½-pound male that was on the same bed with the 7-pounder that I caught, so I went back and caught it today to put it in my livewell just to cull it out later. I caught one of my nicer ones on an Evergreen Jack Hammer with a Zako Paddle Tail trailer. I caught one flipping a Flappin’ Hog. I caught two on a Senko, and about five or six on a Daiwa Neko Fat.”
Au spent his time in areas where he saw the best quality fish on beds in practice. Knowing there were good ones around gave him the confidence to stay in those areas. From there, his strategy was to fish whatever looked good in front of him, cycling through all the baits he knew he could get bit with, but he focused mostly on tules, which is “where the largemouth are.”
“Deep tules, shallow tules, it didn’t matter as long as there were tules nearby I was catching them,” Au said.
“It was just a matter of running into them and making the right cast. I felt like I made a million casts out there. I left it all out there. I know for a fact I couldn’t have done anything else.”